It’s not every day that Magic: The Gathering introduces new card types. In fact, the last time this happened was in 2007 when Lorwyn provided the first set of Planeswalker cards. This was a move that came to be seen as a paradigm shift in game mechanics design and marketing.
March of the Machines follows this up by introducing a type of battle card meant to showcase the epic conflict that defines much of Magic’s overall narrative. These all fall under the siege subtype for now, so the full potential of this type is still unknown, but there are still plenty of bomb-tier battles to see in this debut his batch.
Ten Invasion of Alara
Invasion of Alara might just be one of the best battles in the set, despite packing a very exorbitant five-color mana cost. This works both front and back, and within a reasonable timeframe he creates a whirlwind worth enough to drown his opponents if he can shave off 7 defensive counters.
Overall, Invasion of Alara represents a +7 in terms of card advantage and offers a ton of draws alongside removal, creature buffs, and persistent duplicates. The fact that all of these effects are delivered at once is a nice bonus that offsets the huge investment required to make this happen, unlike the more staggered effects of most other combats.
9 Invasion of Asgol
It may seem counter-intuitive to have battle cards in an aggressive deck, as they essentially need to divert attacks away from your opponent’s life total. Asgol’s Invasion is one such case he is.
It’s a reasonably priced Edict effect that not only gives you an accidental burn in the first half, but turns into an evasive beater that can easily grow with each activation. But if this card does anything, it’s best to be prepared for when it does.
8 Invasion of Fiora
Bringing the world of Conspiracy’s Kick and Scream to mainstream Magic, Fiora’s Invasion is one of the most interesting battles from a balance standpoint. Although it has a high initial mana cost, it only has 4 defense counters and can use the Target Board Wipe effect to clear a path to deplete its power in a single turn.
Once this is done, you’ll have the latest incarnation of the fan-favorite Queen Marchesa. A bulky evasive creature that has the power to instantly kill Planeswalkers in battle or in play whenever she attacks. This will help facilitate her play in future battles, and also comes with Monarch Her Light Card Her Advantage Her Effects in case you need more value.
7 Invasion of Zendikar
If the first half of combat is perhaps a card that plays on its own, that’s a good sign, and Invasion of Zendikar offers just that. This is a card with additional benefits. It’s not hard to access given the combat’s comically low defense values.
If you win Battle for Zendikar, you receive a 4/4 creature and a mana source. This is readily available thanks to its inherent haste ability. All in all, this allows him to not fall behind on the board, and by itself he needs 4-7 mana to easily enable a strong late game that opponents will have a hard time keeping up with.
6 New Phyrexian Invasion
March of the Machine’s flagship rivalry deserves a battle card that’s equal in grandeur, and New Phyrexian Invasion doesn’t disappoint. It goes down anytime after turn 2, depending on how many Knight Tokens you want to add to your army. This card is flexible enough to slot into everything from aggro to control.
This flexibility carries over to the underside, where the iconic Planeswalker Teferi is given a strong interpretation. While not quite as silly as his War of the Spark incarnation, this version can provide card advantage, removal, and even board-wide night buffs when needed. It offers strong play in , but also ensures that the cards are played in a wide variety of formats.
Five Invasion of Tarkir
While best suited for Dragon-based decks, Invasion of Tarkir is generally strong enough to be played in a variety of midrange strategies. The front side is a reasonable burn spell at base level that is great with just one of his Dragons in hand and scales nicely from there. The fact that you can target damage in other battles is a nice bonus and makes this card great in multiples.
The second half is a very solid 4/4 frumble, capable of shocking every dragon you control (including itself) as if it were outdated. Here he can be hard to penetrate with 5 defensive counters, but the strong initial effects and strong rewards more than make up for it.
Four Invasion of Theros
Invasion of Theros is an odd case, clearly aimed at Enchantress-style decks, but flexible enough to play with other strategies. The first half is a three-mana tutor effect for gods, demigods, and auras. Three very specific card types, but three of him that works well in the second half of the card given how playing enchantments pays off.
The second half is a brand new God card. It’s a fresh take on Ephara that puts the original to shame. It lacks the innate protections of her past incarnations, but is balanced by the low mana cost of the battle itself and a super-strong card draw ability that cycles through the deck faster than it can be played in check. if not.
3 Invasion of Ikoria
What a difference 1 mana can make! Ikoria’s Invasion only has him one more mana than the infamous Green Sun’s Zenith, but it’s highly unlikely that this card will have the same fate, namely being banned in Modern. This is purely due to cost differences. Because this card is actually better than Zenith in every way, it’s less restrictive and can even grab creatures from the graveyard.
And it’s waiting to end your opponent’s life in a single combat step thanks to its sneaky evasive ability before factoring in the giant 8/8 Dinosaur lurking in the back half of the card. Even without flipping, this is a very powerful card that turns your deck and graveyard into a useful toolbox.
2 Invasion of Kaldheim
A very important fight in the second half, Kaldheim Invasion unfortunately falls into the category of expensive cards that “do nothing” when first cast. You might get some card advantage here from the opening Wheel of Fortune-style effect, but the real power comes from the World Tree fire on the back.
This is an enchantment that turns an extra land into a 0-mana shock that draws cards. This is an absolute dream for Burn his deck, never running out of gas again and being able to take things home in dead end matchups.
1 Invasion of Innistrad
Being an instant-speed universal removal spell is a great start to any combat, and Invasion of Innistrad follows suit with an excellent second half as well. Receive one zombie token and receive a repeatable hate effect on the graveyard.
It’s a card that fits firmly in the midrange, but can also work in control decks given the way Deluge of the Dead creates near-endless threats. It’s only fitting that one of Magic’s most influential planes receives one of the most powerful combats in the set.
Next: Magic: The Gathering – The Best Legendary Team-Ups for March of the Machines